by Tony Vidler
If there is one thing that can help any professional increase their referral rate it is face-to-face time with clients and influencers.
Actual getting-together-with those other humans more often tends to lead to better or deeper relationships, and more opportunities to be positioned for referrals and recommendations. And more meetings mean more opportunities to ask for referrals bluntly if you are that way inclined, right?
Instinctively we all know this of course…and it is fine in theory. But is it worth all that extra effort and time?
There is a plethora of research which suggests that even with all the wonderful methods we have today for building our brands, and personal profiles, and finding and connecting with prospective clients, referral business remains the best business. For example:
Word-of-mouth is a winner when it comes to finding and gaining new clients and building a professional practice.
Additional research has shown that those who see their clients face-to-face more often in a year bring in substantially more new clients by way of referral. WAY more…at the extremes, those who see clients face-to-face 5 or more times per year are generating up to 10 x the referral numbers as those who only see clients 1 or 2 times per year. That seems a worthwhile investment of time doesn’t it?
Of course there will be far more smart thinking going on behind those sorts of results than merely getting out in front of clients and influencers more often. Good communications processes, delivering ongoing relevant information and advice, running events and expressing gratitude….all will be significant contributors to those with higher rates of referral-generation success.
However, one shouldn’t lose sight of the significance of getting in front of those potential referrers more often, and being more proactive about positioning for and expecting introductions and recommendations. Regular face-to-face time has been proven to fuel more referral business, and that makes it a very good investment of a professionals time.